It’s Monday, what are you reading? (8/3/2020)

August has always been a month I love. When I was younger I anticipated the start of school and loved the thought of being with my friends after a couple of months off. As an adult I have always planned an August vacation although this year I will be spending any days off at home reading instead of traveling. This past weekend I took Friday off and spent time reading a much anticipated book that I was fortunate enough to receive in advance of its release date at the end of the month. I read from sun up to sun down. It was a fabulous way to spend a nice summer day.

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

Catalina’s story continues! It was better than I’d hoped!

JUST STARTED

The sequel to Mirage, Court of Lions mixes fantasy with moroccan tapestry. This author has created a really interesting new world that captured my attention for the first page. I’m liking this novel just as much as the first.

I don’t usually pick the same genre back to back but these choices are working for me! What book have you chosen to start your week with?

Happy Monday!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (7/27/2020)

It’s almost August! I feel like that needs to be shouted to the world because even though life seems to be at a crawl at the same time it’s flying by. The heat has definitely hit Nashville and I’m spending more time indoors in the cool air conditioning catching up on my reading. This last week I slowed my reading down so I could thoroughly enjoy the novel I just finished. Let’s get to it so I can tell you a little bit more!

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

A series that has quickly become a favorite, I was excited to sit down and read this urban fantasy novel. Do you know how there are some books that you read quickly and others where you slow your pace wanting to live in all of those anticipatory moments? This series is one of those for me. It’s so intricate, the emotions so real, I spent one week reading this novel. It comes out Tuesday and I’ve already purchased the audiobook so I can read it again!

JUST STARTED

I’m changing pace again and picking up this interesting sounding women’s fiction novel. I’m looking forward to reading a novel about a woman who may be a little closer to my age, still learning things about herself, and may possibly find a bit of romance.

What book are you reading today to help you get through this week?

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Aug’20

I know, it’s so cliché to say this but wow, is it approaching August already? I feel like I just did this post for July. I haven’t even read all of those books yet. Oh well, let’s add to the TBR. LOL. Let’s get to it!

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED

Well, I always so there just aren’t enough gladiator novels out there to read, don’t I? I don’t? Well, I should! This book by the always fabulous Sara Raasch sounds fabulous! Why didn’t I know this one was coming out?

Synopsis:

Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.

Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games, throwing Madoc in Ash’s path. She realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.

But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.

Click this link to purchase!* Set Fire to the Gods

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED

I read the first book in this series, Mirage, and found it to be a really interesting mix of fantasy and fairy tale. I can’t wait to see where Somaiya Daud takes this second novel.

Synopsis:

On a planet on the brink of revolution, Amani has been forced into isolation. She’s been torn from the boy she loves and has given up contact with her fellow rebels to protect her family. In taking risks for the rebel cause, Amani may have lost Maram’s trust forever. But the princess is more complex than she seems, and now Amani is once more at her capricious nature. One wrong move could see her executed for high treason.

On the eve of Maram’s marriage to Idris comes an unexpected proposal: in exchange for taking her place in the festivities, Maram will keep Amani’s rebel associations a secret. Alone and desperate, Amani is thrust into the center of the court, navigating the dangerous factions on the princess’s behalf. But the court is not what she expects. As a risky plan grows in her mind, and with the rebels poised to make their stand, Amani begins to believe her world might have a future. But every choice she makes comes with a cost. Can Amani risk the ones she loves the most for a war she’s not sure she can win?

Click this link to purchase!* Court of Lions: A Mirage Novel (Mirage Series (2))

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED

I admit, I’m a sucker for YA contemporary novels. This synopsis sounds like the perfect mix of romance and old hollywood glamour. I mean, what are we going to find out about her famous grandmother?

Synopsis:

Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . .

Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress—her grandma Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway. The only problem? Gigi is a recluse who’s been out of the limelight for almost twenty years. Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears.

With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma—and herself.

Click this link to purchase!* Now That I’ve Found You

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED

Ummm, Hunger Games meets Caravale? Sounds kind of cool! I was lucky to get an ARC for this one.

Synopsis:

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

Click this link to purchase!* Where Dreams Descend: A Novel (Kingdom of Cards (1))

MOST ANTICIPATED AUGUST 2020 BOOK RELEASE

Another Hidden Legacy novel continuing Catalina’s story. Ilona Andrews is always a must buy for me, and I’ve done that with this novel, the audiobook, and even got an ARC this last week! I’m feeling extreme amounts of joy about this one. Really!

Synopsis:

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart. 

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart. 

I know we all have different tastes in books and seriously there are a TON of great books coming out in August if you haven’t take a look at the list. Here’s the link where I usually find mine.

Most Popular Books Published in August 2020- Goodreads

I’d love to hear which books you’re looking forward to seeing released next month! Let me know in the comments.

Enjoy, and as always, happy reading!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (7/20/2020)

It was a really hot weekend in Nashville which means I stayed inside and read a book. (OK, I also got hooked on a reality show on the History channel called Top Shot, but that’s another story.) I trolled through the hundreds of books I had on my Kindle because I am ahead on my Arc’s and had time to read something for pleasure. That is always a great feeling!

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

I bought this book back in 2018, which is probably the last time I’d read a Suzanne Wright novel. I had forgotten that her books centered on the physical relationship, then gave you a side of story. If you like sexy paranormal then one of her books has probably crossed your path. There are six books in this series, so if you like demons and don’t mind a LOT of sex scenes this book may be the right one for you.

JUST STARTED

It’s back to the ARC schedule for me, and this is one I’ve been totally excited about reading. Spells for the Dead is the next installment of Faith Hunters Soulwood series. One I’m a HUGE fan of! Excuse me while I go and read for a bit.

I’d love to hear what book is tempting you away from your work this fine Monday. Share in the comments!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: How will I fill my time without Facebook?

My husband and I have agreed that we’re going to try to take a month off of Facebook. It’s so easy to get caught up in surfing that feed and getting frustrated or angry at people who have a difference of opinion than my own on the importance of wearing a mask, or the incompetence of our President. My husband is even worse than I am and peppers his “friends” with shared posts delivering scientific facts that he hopes will change their minds. He’s currently unemployed and I could see him spiraling into an unhealthy aggravation that we can easily avoid. So, we have agreed to call it quits with Facebook for one month. One week in and how are we doing?

Well…. I do check in on my blog Facebook page to make sure my posts are delivering but I have not gone through my feed. So I think that’s a success! I think he’s done even better and truthfully I can see a difference in both of our attitudes. We’re a little calmer, and much happier not re-hashing what so and so said and getting ourselves amped up over the stupidity of people we haven’t seen in thirty years.

Why do we still traverse the Facebook universe? I’ll admit, I do get some comments on my The Reading Chick page and I have a friend who has a group for her home business Color Street nails and she plays games and posts photo’s of manicures which sound stupid but are really fun to look at. Other than those two things I can’t say I want to go back. Then, if you throw in Zuckerberg’s views about not policing fake content, do you really want to support that? I’m mulling that one over still.

What are the things I’m turning to instead of Facebook?

1)My husband and I spend $12 a month on the NY Times digital subscription where with that subscription we also get the NY Times Crossword puzzle app. We do a LOT of crosswords. LOL.

2) I also scroll through my Twitter feed, but gosh the book nation on Twitter is just as political as the Facebook nation. Everyone is so opinionated about EVERYTHING. So, I may cut back a little on the Twitter account as well.

3) Pinterest! I love looking at pictures, reading nails, and looking at clothes I’ll never wear because I’m in t-shirts and shorts 24/7 working from home.

4) Tending our family garden. This is probably one of my favorite activities at least once or twice a day. If I need a break from work? Check and see if the tomatoes are turning red. If our cucumber crop is about to need picking- look up cucumber recipes on Pinterest! Did you know you can make cucumber bread? Yeah, kind of like zucchini bread. Funny! Who knew!

5) Bake/Cook- I made some awesome Cardamon, Orange, Dark Chocolate Chunk shortbread cookies that were to die for. I’m really interested in odd flavor combo’s lately and this one was great. Look it up on Pinterest and give it a try. Also, last night was Greek night in our household. We had all the cucumbers to make Tzaziki dip, Cucumber dip, we made hummus, cantaloupe, grilled some beef and home grown zucchini and voila! Greek night. It was pretty damn good. 🙂

6) Read more books on my TBR and watch some Netflix and chill. Pretty self explanatory, right?

You get my point though. We don’t need to do things that make us crazy. For me and my husband that was trolling Facebook. If you find yourself getting aggravated, I think you should give it a try. If you need help finding something to do I’ve got this great recipe for Green Tomato Salsa Verde I can share if you’ve got some time to burn.

Taking care of yourself means taking care of your mental health too!

Stay safe, stay calm, and reach out if you need to talk.

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (7/13/2020)

The release of Mariana Zapata’s novel Hands Down last week had me picking up a couple other of her books as got me in the mood to read an older favorite. Which then led me into an old fantasy favorite, and I went down the rabbit hole. LOL. My reading choices hit just the right note! I hope you had as much luck with your choice!

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

After reading Hands Down, which featured Zac from The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, I re-read Winnipeg which had a side character in Vanessa’s best friend Diana Casillas. So, I read her story next. Yep, the rabbit hole. Wait for It is probably my third or fourth favorite Mariana Zapata novel so it wasn’t a hardship to pick it back up.

JUST STARTED

AFter binging on Mariana Zapata and feeling great about the books I’d chosen I again chose an older book that I’d read previously and really liked. I’d last read Oracle’s Moon in 2014 and I think it was my favorite of Thea Harrison’s Elder Races. Have you read those? They are fun romantic fantasy novels. I’m looking forward to finishing this one up this week.

What books did you read this last weekend, and what book are you starting out your week reading? An old favorite? Or a brand new release?

Happy Monday!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (7/6/2020)

One of my favorite authors released a book this weekend so this week’s recap is an easy one for me! I’m just going to jump right in and tell you who!

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

If you’re a fan of Mariana Zapata’s as I am, you’ll be happy to hear this most recent book is about fan favorite, Zac, from the Wall of Winnipeg. He’s funny, charming, and oh so southern.

JUST STARTED

I wanted to re-read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me because it’s one of my favorite Mariana Zapata novels, but also after reading Hands Down, I wanted to re-familiarize myself with Zac’s back story.

Yep, I immersed myself in Mariana Zapata books this weekend which was so much fun. It also wasn’t very productive as I have an ARC that comes out tomorrow that I still need to read. Oh well, I’ll get there!

What fabulous title did you pick up this weekend? I’d love to know in the comments!

Happy Monday,

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: The Mid Year Book Freak Out 2020

Hi! It’s that time of year when we all look back on the books we’ve read and evaluate our favorite’s least favorite’s, etc. I’ve done this book tag for the last couple of years and it’s always fun to write and remind myself, yes, I did read all of those books. With all that’s happened in the world this year I’ll admit that my concentration and ability to read quickly has deserted me and I’m only 46% to my goal of 180 books, and I lowered my goal at the beginning of the year by 20 books to give myself time to read. I’m not going to stress about it and just keep on reading what draws my eye and mind to try to escape from the all of the stresses.

Here are my answers to the Mid Year Book Freak Out book tag.

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2020

There were a few books that I’ve really liked this year but Emily Henry’s Beach Read was my favorite. You know when you have that perfect storm of being in the right mood, having the quiet time to read and not be rushed, and loving all of the emotions the characters make you feel? This book was that for me.

Click this link for my review: Beach Read

Click this link to purchase!* Beach Read

Best Sequel of 2020 So Far

I think the definition of a sequel is the second book in a two book series, right? Well, I’m stretching that definition to be any book after the first, in a series. Why Kings Confess is the 9th book in the Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series. Each book finds Sebastian solving a murder and those are great, but the way this author evolves these characters keeps me coming back for more, and that’s saying something when I’m listening to the audiobooks. Davina Porter is the narrator, and she’s fabulous, but they are like 14 hours each! This is my favorite so far because of the love that has developed between Sebastian and his wife Hero. His words to her? Sigh….

Click this link to read my review: Why Kings Confess

Click this link to purchase!* Why Kings Confess (Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery Book 9)

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

I eagerly bought this book and it has sat on my coffee table since March. Why? I don’t know! I love this series about Veronica and Stoker, the mysteries they solve, and their developing love and friendship for each other. I need to read it stat!

Click this link to purchase! A Murderous Relation (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery)

Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of 2020

Well, anything by Ilona Andrews would be in this category for me and Emerald Blaze in the Hidden Legacy Series is next up!

Pre-order your copy here! Emerald Blaze: A Hidden Legacy Novel

Biggest Disappointment

I had heard so many great things about this author and was so, so disappointed that this was my first peek at her work. I really disliked it. I hate to remember how much, actually.

Biggest Surprise

A straight fiction novel is such a big departure for me. Especially lately when I only try to read books I know will have a happy ending. The Big Finish had characters with great heart and I shed a boatload of tears, but I also smiled a lot too.

Click here to read my review- The Big Finish

Click this link to purchase this novel!* The Big Finish

Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)

When I submitted a request to read Blitzed by Alexa Martin I did it not knowing it was the third book in the series so I checked out Intercepted and Fumbled and read those, then Blitzed, all in one weekend. They were funny, irreverent, and sexy. Just what I needed to read that weekend. I LOVE this author and will snap up her next one as soon as it gets released!

Check out her bio on Penguin’s website and click HERE

Click this link to purchase the first book in this series. Intercepted (Playbook, The)

Newest Fictional Crush

I really don’t do fictional crushes so this one was difficult for me. You see, for me, it’s all about the fictional couple and their story. How they find each other and fall in love. BUT, if I had to pick one for this year, it would be Gus Everett. Although, I LOVED him with January.

Newest Favorite Characters

This book takes place in a small town in Alaska and centers around Zoey and Graham, BUT the cast of characters also shone and I can’t wait to read their stories as well! If you haven’t read this one and you need a pick me up, pick IT up!

Read my review by clicking this link- The Tourist Attraction

Click this link to purchase!* The Tourist Attraction (Moose Springs, Alaska)

Book That Made You Cry

Pretty much all books have made me cry this year but Her Last Flight was the most recent book to do that. It was fabulous.

Read my review here- Her Last Flight

Click this link to purchase this book!* Her Last Flight: A Novel

Book That Made You Happy

I was so happy to be back in the Hollows with Rachel, Ivy, Trent, and everyone! This series had been finished and years later she puts out another. It was soooo good!

Click this link to read my review- American Demon

Click this link to purchase this book!* American Demon (Hollows)

The Most Beautiful Book Cover You Bought or Received

It really is pretty, isn’t it?

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of This Year

Too, too many to mention all but here are a few.

If you read all the way down to this point, thanks! Feel free to mention any books that are on your must read for 2020. I always like to keep an eye out for good books!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (6/22/2020)

I am now starting the return trip across country with my husband, having achieved our goal of visiting my dad in California. It’s been a fun trip seeing the country, but also exhausting as it is a looonnnggg drive! Our return home will be much more direct, but we’ll still be enjoying the trip and each other. Surprisingly I haven’t done a lot of reading as I’ve kept my eye on the scenery, but here’s where I’m at with my reading.

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

One of my most anticipated releases and boy was it worth the time it took for me to read it. I loved being back with some of my favorite characters. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed them!

Click this link to purchase!* American Demon (Hollows)

JUST STARTED

I brought one paperback on my trip with me and chose this Nora Roberts book that was published in 2018. I thought it would be easy to get into, and it totally is, but hadn’t anticipated how dark it would be. It’s a good one, despite the dark topic.

Click this link to purchase!* Shelter in Place

I’m sure we’ll start up another audiobook on our return trip also. Are there any you’d recommend that are good for a husband and wife traveling together?

Let me know!

Deb

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase the book through the above links I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (6/15/2020)

HI! I’m writing to your from a cross country road trip with my husband. We had a couple of weeks off and decided to explore some areas of the US we haven’t seen before. It’s a LOT of driving, and fortunately I’ve had some time to read. This is what I’m currently reading.

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

Driving in the car with my husband I chose something I thought he’d be interested in. What I didn’t realize is that it’s read like a college course, although the teacher was very animated. I thought it was pretty interesting!

JUST STARTED

The Hollows series is one of my favorites and I was happy when this author decided to re-visit these characters. Since Kim Harrison had written the finale to the series already and this book takes place before the epilogue of that tale it’s a little weird because it’s like I can foretell their future, but I’m still really interested in Rachel and her inner demon.

Let me know what book is going to help you get through the next week!

Deb